August 6-8 Box Office Predictions

James Gunn’s version of The Suicide Squad hits theaters and HBO Max streaming this Friday and it’s got surprisingly terrific reviews as a bonus feature to bring viewers out. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on it here:

The Suicide Squad Box Office Prediction

The first Squad from 2016 (the one without the THE in front of the title) landed just a 26% Rotten Tomatoes score while THE reboot is perched at an unexpectedly lofty 96%. However, with the Delta variant in play and the availability to HBO subscribers, I have this Squad achieving a low to possibly mid 40s start.

Margot Robbie and her devious friends represent the only newcomer. Jungle Cruise opened a bit above most projections (including mine). The question is whether its Disney Plus simultaneous debut will cause it to drop precipitously like Black Widow and other recent titles. I suspect the sophomore frame dip may not be quite as severe and mid 50s is my forecast.

The holdover battle for the #3 spot could be close between M. Night Shyamalan’s Old, critical favorite The Green Knight, and Black Widow. I actually think Widow could rise from 4th to 3rd with the smallest drop (assuming Old falls about 50%). Knight, despite the laudatory reviews and a larger than expected debut, only nabbed a C+ Cinemascore grade and that could mean a 60% range dip is in the cards.

And with that, my top 5 take on the frame ahead:

1. The Suicide Squad

Predicted Gross: $40.8 million

2. Jungle Cruise

Predicted Gross: $15.5 million

3. Black Widow

Predicted Gross: $3.7 million

4. Old

Predicted Gross: $3.5 million

5. The Green Knight

Predicted Gross: $2.7 million

Box Office Results (July 30-August 1)

Disney had reason to celebrate over the weekend as Jungle Cruise with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt opened at the high end of projections. The theme ride based adventure, sporting mostly positive reviews, landed with $35 million (ahead of my $28.4 million estimate). Additionally, the studio’s streamer Disney Plus reported $30 million in rental action. That’s about as rosy as scenario possible given the continuing complications for theaters.

Old dropped to second with a near 60% plummet at $6.8 million, in line with my $6.6 million take. It’s earned $30 million so far and that’s decent considering the small budget.

The Mouse Factory wasn’t the only studio that exceeded projections as The Green Knight was third with $6.7 million – well beyond my meager $3.4 million guesstimate. As mentioned above, the middling audience reaction could halt its momentum in weekend #2, but that’s certainly a better start than anticipated.

Black Widow was fourth with $6.4 million (I said $5.6 million) to bring its tally to $167 million.

Matt Damon’s Stillwater premiered in fifth with a muted $5.1 million. That’s right in line with my $5.2 million estimate as mostly solid reviews couldn’t bring adult moviegoers out in substantial fashion.

Space Jam: A New Legacy was sixth with $4.2 million (I was close with $4.5 million) for a three week $60 million total.

Lastly, Snake Eyes nosedived in its second outing after a disastrous opening with $4 million (I said $4.7 million). The ill-fated G.I. Joe reboot has amassed just $22 million.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

July 30-August 1 Box Office Predictions

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt’s theme ride based Disney adventure Jungle Cruise should have no trouble topping the charts as July rolls to August at the box office. It opens alongside the Matt Damon drama Stillwater and David Lowery’s medieval tale The Green Knight with Dev Patel and Alicia Vikander. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on all of them here:

Jungle Cruise Box Office Prediction

Stillwater Box Office Prediction

The Green Knight Box Office Prediction

After a rather sluggish weekend where no newcomer topped $20 million, Jungle should easily cruise to that and more. Whether it tops $30 million is more of a question mark (especially with the Delta variant complicating matters). I’m putting it just under $30M while no other title should hit $10 million.

The jockeying for slots 2-5 could be interesting. Let’s get The Green Knight out of the way. While Lowery is an acclaimed indie filmmaker, I don’t see this having much initial crossover appeal. I have yet to see a theater count and my estimate of $3.4  million puts it well outside the top 5 (my estimate could change based on number of screens). **Blogger’s Update (07/28): the 2500 estimated screen count has revised my estimate for this up from $2.2M to $3.4M

Stillwater is a bit more of a head scratcher. It has solid reviews yet I can’t shake the feeling that this might have been better positioned for an autumn release. It could certainly open higher than my $5.2 million projection, but I also wouldn’t shocked if it went lower.

The position of Stillwater in the top 5 will be determined by the sophomore drops of Old and Snake Eyes and the fourth weekend performance of Black Widow. 

Widow and Space Jam: A New Legacy have experienced hefty declines in their second frames. With mixed to negative reviews, I see no reason why Old and Snake Eyes won’t suffer the same fate. Both could see their fortunes fall in the mid 50s (that could be best case) or 60% or more. I’m thinking the latter. There’s a chance that Space Jam could stay in the high five if Snake Eyes dips in the mid 60s (I think it’ll be awfully close)

Here’s how I have all the action playing out:

1. Jungle Cruise

Predicted Gross: $28.4 million

2. Old

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

3. Black Widow

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

4. Stillwater

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

5. Snake Eyes

Predicted Gross: $4.7 million

6. Space Jam: A New Legacy

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

Box Office Results (July 23-25)

Considering its low budget, the performance of M. Night Shyamalan’s Old isn’t necessarily bad news for Universal. However, it definitely came in on the low end of expectations with $16.8 million for a gold medal showing. I was more generous at $19.8 million. Word-of-mouth doesn’t seem very encouraging and I anticipate a sophomore drop in the 60% range.

There’s really no way to spin the Snake Eyes gross in a positive way for Paramount with its disappointing silver medal. The hoped for G.I. Joe reboot tanked with just $13.3 million compared to my $17.2 million projection. You could say it was a real American no show with audiences. With a budget in the reported $100 million range, this should easily put this franchise on the skids for some time.

Black Widow took the bronze in weekend #3 with $11.6 million (I went a little higher at $12.9 million). The MCU stand-alone feature has made $154 million thus far and will be one of the lowest performers of the MCU library.

Space Jam: A New Legacy plummeted from its #1 perch to fourth with a near 70 percent fall. The $9.5 million gross was way under my take of $15.8 million and the two-week tally is $51 million. There’s no chance the LeBron and Looney Tunes sequel will make $100 million stateside.

F9 was fifth with $4.8 million (I said $5.1 million) to bring its total to $163 million.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions was sixth in its second outing with only $3.5 million (I went with $4.5 million) for $16 million overall.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Oscar Watch: The Green Knight

David Lowery has had the critics on his side for years with efforts including Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, A Ghost Story, and The Old Man & the Gun. His filmography has been called out by critics associations, but his pictures have yet to garner any Oscar attention.

Could that change with The Green Knight? Coming out Friday, the medieval fantasy had its embargo lifted today and the results are encouraging. Sporting a 93% Rotten Tomatoes score, it’s being called an epic experience with lush visuals. The lead performance of Dev Patel is also highly praised.

It will be interesting to see if distributor A24 mounts a major campaign. They could be preoccupied with The Tragedy of Macbeth from Joel Coen which is out this autumn.

Patel could be in the mix though I suspect he’s a bit of a long shot. He’s been nominated once before for Lion in supporting and drew some chatter that never panned out for The Personal History of David Copperfield. Costar Alicia Vikander (2015 Supporting Actress winner for The Danish Girl) might see a more serious campaign for Blue Bayou.

My hunch is that Knight could succeed in being Lowery’s first feature to get a nomination or two and that it could be in tech races. Visual Effects and Costume Design spring to mind. The Score is also getting kudos. I would also add that it’s highly possible Knight could be ignored altogether.

Bottom line: The Green Knight will need to sustain momentum over the season to be a competitor. Strong reviews could help the cause. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The Green Knight Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Update (07/28): The theater count has been put out at approximately 2500, which is higher than I expected. Therefore I am revising my estimate up from $2.2M to $3.4M

David Lowery has become a favorite indie director of the critics with pics like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and A Ghost Story. This Friday, he goes the bigger Arthurian medieval fantasy route with The Green Knight. Originally scheduled for May 2020 before its COVID delay, Knight stars Dev Patel, Alicia Vikander, Joel Edgerton, Sarita Choudhury, Sean Harris, Kate Dickie, Barry Keoghan, and Ralph Ineson.

A24 is handling distribution duties and early word of mouth is positive (as has been the case with the filmmaker’s previous efforts). How this translates to box office business is certainly questionable.

I have yet to see a theater count and that could alter my forecast, but my feeling is that this starts quite low as it struggles to find an audience.

The Green Knight opening weekend prediction: $3.4 million

For my Jungle Cruise prediction, click here:

Jungle Cruise Box Office Prediction

For my Stillwater prediction, click here:

Stillwater Box Office Prediction

2020 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

Awards watching season kicks into (later than usual) gear this Sunday with the 78th Annual Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! While I have not spent time doing weekly posts on this ceremony like I do with the Oscars, it’s certainly a potential sign of things to come from the Academy (and sometimes not so much).

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a notoriously tricky bunch to predict as they often call up out of nowhere nominees in their major categories. This year is no exception and that will be discussed below. The pandemic uncertainty that was 2020 and some races that truly feel wild open gives us some real drama as to the pictures and actors who will win on Sunday.

Simply put, I’ll feel good if I get half my predictions right and that’s a lower bar than usual. Let’s walk through each category with my estimated victor and runner-up, shall we?

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Despite a better than anticipated showing for Promising Young Woman, this is likely a showdown between Nomadland and Trial (as I suspect it will be for the Oscars). Quite frankly, this is a tough call and basically a coin flip. However, I lean ever so slightly with HFPA going with the more traditional pick and that means Trial.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Nomadland

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

The inclusion of Sia’s critically drubbed Music stands as one of the more bizarre nods in recent Globes history and that’s saying a lot. Palm Springs certainly has its fervent fans while The Prom once seemed like a potential winner until its mixed reviews. Meryl Streep’s exclusion in the Actress field for it says something as well. So it’s Borat vs. Hamilton in my view. 14 years ago, the original Borat lost out to Dreamgirls. Certainly the overall pedigree and acclaim for Hamilton makes it a possibility, but the attention garnered by Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel might be too hard to resist.

Predicted Winner: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Hamilton

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Even with my Trial pick in Picture, Chloe Zhao has emerged as a heavy favorite for the duration of awards season and she has the critics trophies already to prove it. Fincher is probably more of a threat to upset than Sorkin here, but Zhao is one of the safer bets of the night.

Predicted Winner: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Runner-Up: David Fincher, Mank

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

It’s Davis vs. McDormand vs. Mulligan as I see it and there’s a case to be made for all three. That said, I already mentioned that Promising was a major winner on nomination morning as it achieved nods everywhere it really could have been expected to. I feel it’ll win somewhere and this is the most probable. Had Rainey got a Picture nod, I would probably list Davis as the runner-up, but I’ll go with McDormand instead.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

Sunday night could very well be the start of Boseman sweeping his way through the season. I do have a nagging feeling that Hopkins is going to win either here or at SAG. It would not be a shock at all for that to occur yet I’ll stick with Boseman.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

Expect Taylor-Joy to win on Sunday night, but not here. Instead she appears bound to get some hardware on the TV side for the heralded Queen’s Gambit. Like the picture itself, Hudson’s nomination was totally unforeseen. Bakalova was the breakout star of Borat. She’s being campaigned for in Supporting Actress at the Oscars, but the HFPA seems destined to honor her. Pfeiffer and Pike are moderate threats and I’ll give the runner-up edge to the former.

Predicted Winner: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

Let’s face it: the Golden Globes this year has an excellent chance at turning into the Sacha Baron Cohen Show. He won this race for the first Borat and he’s the odds-on favorite to make it two for two. Miranda poses the only real threat in my opinion.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

For Foster and Zengel, it’s an honor to be nominated. As for the other three, this feels like a genuine three performer race in which I could easily foresee Close, Colman, or Seyfried’s name being called. I’m calling this (with zero confidence) for Seyfried as I think HFPA could go with the relative newcomer over Close and Colman (who have each won three Globes).

Predicted Winner: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Runner-Up: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (just over Colman)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Another really tough one. It would be right up HFPA’s alley to give Leto the surprise win. And Kaluuya and Odom Jr. are strong possibilities. I don’t feel great about saying Sacha will have this big of a night, but I kinda feel that’s the way this goes. Confidence level? Zilch.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah 

Best Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is an additional race where voters could choose to honor Promising Young Woman, but Trial is the frontrunner and I’m not picking against it.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature Film

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

Don’t be surprised if this is the same Oscar five with the same result. While Wolfwalkers is a critical darling, it’s risky to bet against Pixar and I won’t do so.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

The smart money is on Minari, which is expected to get a Best Picture nod from the Academy. However, I can’t help but point out that it picked up nominations nowhere else (including Actor, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay where it could have). That opens the door for Another Round which also has ardent supporters. I’m going for the slight upset.

Predicted Winner: Another Round

Runner-Up: Minari

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

Another category that Oscar could match. And this may come down to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross vs. themselves for Mank and Soul. I’ll give their Pixar work the edge.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Mank

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “lo si (Seen)” (The Life Ahead), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami), “Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

Anything could happen here, but “Speak Now” is a trendy pick for the Oscar and HFPA could follow suit.

Predicted Winner: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Runner-Up: “lo si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead

That means I’m predicting the following number of wins for these pictures:

3 Wins

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of the Chicago 7

2 Wins

Soul

1 Win

Another Round, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

And there you have it! My picks for the Sacha Baron… err, Golden Globes! Let’s see how it shakes out and I’ll have a post up Sunday night with my thoughts about the show and how I performed….

2020 Golden Globes Nominations Reaction

If you had told me yesterday that the Kate Hudson’s Music, which is directed by pop star Sia and hasn’t been released yet domestically, would achieve two Golden Globe nominations and that Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods would get zero, I might have said you’re crazy. Yet welcome to Awards Season 2020 as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association weighed in with their nods this morning and provided some genuine shockers (as they normally do).

There’s no doubt that the big loser today was Da 5 Bloods which was shut out while Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman performed better than expected. Much more to discuss so let’s break it down by each category, shall we?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 3/5

It must be said that The Father had a good morning as well along with Promising. Those two pictures made it in over my predictions of Da 5 Bloods and One Night in Miami. I will note that some pundits had Mank missing the cut, but I’ve never fully bought that it won’t perform well during this awards season.

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

How I Did: 4/5

Fennell’s inclusion here is the surest indication of HFPA’s love for her film. She makes it in over Spike Lee for Bloods. The HFPA did make some history in this race with 3 women nominated out of the five.

Best Actress – Drama

Nominees: Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

How I Did: 4/5

This pushes forward the narrative that Davis/Kirby/McDormand/Mulligan are a quartet likely to see SAG and Oscar nods. It’s been the fifth slot up for grabs and Andra Day got there over my prediction for Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead. A GG nod could have helped Loren’s Oscar viability (let’s see if SAG mentions her tomorrow).

Best Actor – Drama

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

How I Did: 4/5

The 5 Bloods shutout produced the largest shocker in this particular category with Delroy Lindo being snubbed in favor of Tahar Rahim. Lindo should bounce back at SAG and we’ll know soon enough.

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

How I Did: 4/5

As previously stated, this Music pic came out of nowhere and stands as one of the enormous surprises. It got in over Emma. Others had On the Rocks in that spot and it whiffed too.

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

How I Did: 3/5

Once again, Hudson’s name was certainly not expected. Pike’s inclusion is less surprising as I had her as my first alternate. They make the cut over Cristin Milioti (Palm Springs) and another unforeseen development… Meryl Streep (The Prom) not getting her expected nod. That doesn’t happen often.

Best Actor – Musical/Comedy

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

How I Did: 4/5

Not many pundits were guessing James Corden’s work in The Prom would be nominated and not his costar Meryl Streep. I had him off in favor of Leslie Odom, Jr. for Hamilton.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

How I Did: 4/5

Zengel’s inclusion here increases her visibility and if she gets a SAG nomination, her Oscar chances become quite real. The young performer made it in over the legendary Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

How I Did: 4/5

With the exception of that Kate Hudson movie, another morning jaw dropper was Jared Leto being recognized for The Little Things. Per another storyline of the day, he replaces Chadwick Boseman in the blanked Da 5 Bloods.

Best Film Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

How I Did: 3/5

The Father and Promising Young Woman continued their encouraging runs here to the detriment of One Night in Miami and (again) Da 5 Bloods.

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

Behold the only race where I called it perfectly! Don’t be surprised if this is Oscar’s quintet as well.

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

How I Did: 3/5

Llorona and Two were named over Martin Eden and Quo Vadis, Aida? in a lineup that should come down to Round or (more likely) Minari.

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

How I Did: 4/5

No big surprise that Midnight Sky got in over Minari. This could well by the Oscar lineup.

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah, “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7, “Seen” from The Life Ahead, “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami, “Tigress & Tweed” from The United State vs. Billie Holiday

How I Did: 2/5

An unpredictable group of songs for awards consideration proved to be just that with my worst performance of the day. It was “Fight”, “Voice” and “Tigress” in over “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest, “Only the Young” from Miss Americana, and “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon. 

How I Did Overall: 51/70

That shakes out to the following number of nods for these pictures:

6 Nominations

Mank

5 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

4 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, One Night in Miami

2 Nominations

Hamilton, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Life Ahead, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Mauritanian, Music, News of the World, Palm Springs, The Prom, Soul, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, The Croods: A New Age, Emma, French Exit, Hillbilly Elegy, I Care a Lot, La Llorona, The Little Things, The Midnight Sky, Minari, On the Rocks, Onward, Over the Moon, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Tenet, Two of Us, Wolfwalkers

You can expect predictions in all these races a couple of days before showtime on February 28th!

2020 Golden Globe Nomination Predictions

The biggest Oscar precursor thus far drops their nominations this Wednesday (with SAG following the next day) in a week where the awards picture should become a bit clearer.

Of course, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a habit of making some left field picks from time to time. And unlike the Academy, they split their film and lead acting races into Drama and Comedy/Musical.

Every week on the blog, I have been forecasting each Oscar race. However, for the Globes, it’s just one post with my final predictions for what I feel will happen on Wednesday. In every category, I’m also selecting a first and second alternate. We shall see how I do shortly!

P.S. – SAG Predictions are up tomorrow! Let’s get to it…

Best Film Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The Trial of the Chicago 7

First Alternate – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Second Alternate – The Father

Best Film Director

Predicted Nominees:

David Fincher, Mank

Regina King, One Night in Miami

Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods

Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

First Alternate – Florian Zeller, The Father

Second Alternate – Paul Greengrass, News of the World

Best Actress – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman

Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead

Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

First Alternate – Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie

Second Alternate – Kate Winslet, Ammonite

Best Actor – Drama

Predicted Nominees:

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods

Gary Oldman, Mank

First Alternate – Steven Yeun, Minari

Second Alternate – Tom Hanks, News of the World

Best Film Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Emma

Hamilton

Palm Springs

The Prom

First Alternate – On the Rocks

Second Alternate – The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Actress – Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs

Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Meryl Streep, The Prom

Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

First Alternate – Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot

Second Alternate – Rashida Jones, On the Rocks

Best Actor – Comedy/Musical

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield

Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

First Alternate – Pete Davidson, The King of Staten Island

Second Alternate – James Corden, The Prom

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman

Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman, The Father

Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian 

Amanda Seyfried, Mank

First Alternate – Youn Yuh-jung, Minari

Second Alternate – Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Bill Murray, On the Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami

First Alternate – Paul Raci, Sound of Metal

Second Alternate – Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Film Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The Trial of the Chicago 7

First Alternate – The Father

Second Alternate – Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

The Croods: A New Age

Onward

Over the Moon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

First Alternate – The Willoughbys

Second Alternate – Earwig and the Witch

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

Another Round

The Life Ahead

Martin Eden

Minari

Quo Vadis, Aida?

First Alternate – Dear Comrades!

Second Alternate – Beanpole

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Soul

Tenet

First Alternate – Hillbilly Elegy

Second Alternate – The Midnight Sky

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

“Only the Young” from Miss Americana

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

“Seen” from The Life Ahead

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

First Alternate – “Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

Second Alternate – “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

And that breaks out to the following pictures receiving these numbers for nominations:

6 Nominations

Mank

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

3 Nominations

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, The Life Ahead, Minari, Palm Springs

2 Nominations

Emma, The Father, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, The Prom, Soul

1 Nomination

Another Round, The Croods: A New Age, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, French Exit, Hillbilly Elegy, Judas and the Black Messiah, Martin Eden, The Mauritanian, Miss Americana, News of the World, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Promising Young Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Sound of Metal, Tenet, Wolfwalkers

I’ll have reaction to the Globe nods up on Wednesday!

 

Oscar Watch: A Midyear 2020 Report

It might be hard to fathom, but we are at the midpoint of this experience we call 2020. As COVID-19 and social issues dominate the landscape, the cinematic world has necessarily taken a backseat to the times. The Academy recently announced that the Oscars will be delayed until April 2021 and that movies premiering in January and February of that year will be eligible for consideration. This is in addition to previous notice that streaming pictures that forgo a theatrical release will also be able to nab nominations at that ceremony.

Since theaters have essentially been shuttered since March and with several festivals (the normal breeding grounds for awards hopefuls) either canceled or significantly modified, a midyear report on Oscar contenders is, to put it mildly, challenging.

Yet… here goes! As awards followers already know, the bulk of serious contenders aren’t  typically released until fall anyway. In fact, the earliest release of the nine Best Picture nominees last year was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which came out in late July. The remaining 8 had autumn and winter dates.

The Sundance Film Festival from January did give us some potential contenders. Florian Zeller’s The Father was acclaimed and it could score nods for previous winners Anthony Hopkins in lead actor and Olivia Colman in Supporting Actress. The biographical tale of feminist icon Gloria Steinem finds several actresses playing her at different ages. Julianne Moore and Alicia Vikander (they also both have gold statues) are among them and could be potential nominees. Previous nominee Carey Mulligan garnered solid reviews for Promising Young Woman. 

And there’s Minari. The South Korean family drama starring Steven Yeun won the Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance. I wouldn’t sleep on its chances with the right marketing push from its studio A24. That same studio has the 19th century set indie First Cow, which also has its ardent admirers. They would need to make a major push in order for Oscar to notice it.

For movies that have actually come out, the Jane Austen inspired Emma saw positive notices for lead Anya-Taylor Joy. Ben Affleck got some of the best reviews of his career with the basketball drama The Way Back. Pete Davidson’s starring debut in The King of Staten Island drew mostly praise. And Elisabeth Moss starred in the hit The Invisible Man and it’s a possibility she could be recognized even though acting nominations in horror flicks are rare. Neither Toni Collette (Hereditary) in 2018 or Lupita Nyong’o (Us) last year could pull it off. Moss could also be recognized for Shirley, a drama that debuted at Sundance and is already available via streaming.

Then there’s Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods from Spike Lee. The director saw his last picture, BlacKkKlansman, receive numerous nominations and win Adapted Screenplay. I would posit that Bloods stands the best chance at multiple nods including possibly Picture and Director. Delroy Lindo (though it’s not clear whether he’d be campaigned for in lead or supporting) seems highly likely to be recognized. And if he’s campaigned for in Best Actor (which he probably should be), it could open the door for Clarke Peters or Jonathan Majors to make the cut in supporting.

In other races – Pixar’s Onward could compete in Animated Feature, though Disney could save their muscle for the upcoming Soul. Look for Emma to nab a Costume Design nod.

And we shall leave it there for now, folks! As readers of the blog know, expect more Oscar Watch posts to come your way as titles screen. Typically it’s late August when I start my weekly predictions and hopefully that’s a tradition that can be kept in this crazy thing we call 2020…

Oscar Watch: The Personal History of David Copperfield

In the first of what will be several Oscar Watch posts from screenings at the Toronto Film Festival, we consider The Personal History of David Copperfield. Armando Iannucci serves as director for the Charles Dickens based satire with Dev Patel (Oscar nominee in 2016’s Lion) in the title role. Costars include Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi, and Ben Whishaw.

The film is said to be a crowd pleaser. Iannucci has received Academy attention previously with his Original Screenplay for 2009’s In the Loop. Last year’s The Death of Stalin was considered a contender in Adapted Screenplay, though that nod never came. He’s best known stateside for creating HBO’s Veep.

While I don’t foresee Copperfield vying for Picture or any of the acting categories (though Patel is getting raves), Adapted Screenplay could be feasible. That’s with a rather large caveat. A number of the contenders in that race (The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Little Women) are still unseen. That’s changing shortly and we may have a better idea whether there’s any room for this soon. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The 2019 Oscar Season Cometh

As the summer season winds down, the movie industry and this blog’s attention will soon turn to the Oscar race. And if you think it’s too early to do that, consider that less than a month from now – an avalanche of Academy hopefuls will be unveiled at film festivals. Toronto, Venice, Telluride, and the New York festivals are on deck. The programmers behind those events have already released the names of many of the pictures premiering. Here are some of the pictures wishing for Oscar glory that are hitting the circuit:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Tom Hanks is iconic children’s host Mr. Rogers in director Marielle Heller’s follow-up to last year’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which nabbed nods for Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant. Premiering at Toronto.

Ad Astra

James Gray has made multiple critical darlings, but has yet to pop up on the awards circuit radar screen. Could this sci fi drama with Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones change that? Premiering at Venice.

An Officer and a Spy

It will need serious acclaim to overcome the baggage that comes from its maker Roman Polanski, but this historical thriller will attempt to do so in Venice.

Dolemite Is My Name

Prior to its anticipated Netflix launch, Craig Brewer’s biopic of comedian Rudy Ray Moore portrayed by legendary comic Eddie Murphy will bow at Toronto.

Ema

Pablo Larrain has had his pics No and Jackie attract awards nods and this Chilean drama hopes to follow suit. Premiering at Venice.

Ford v Ferrari

Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in James Mangold’s 1960s set tale of the flashy automotive industry. Premiering at Toronto.

Harriet

Cynthia Erica was a breakout in last year’s Widows. This year she has an Academy baity role as abolitionist Harriet Tubman in this historical epic from Kasi Lemmons. Premiering at Toronto.

Jojo Rabbit

This concoction from Taika Waititi is set during WWII with a dark comedic premise finding a young child with an imaginary friend who happens to be Hitler. The filmmaker himself plays Hitler. Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell are among the cast.

Joker

Heath Ledger won a posthumous gold statue as the comic book villain in The Dark Knight. Joaquin Phoenix will attempt the same here. Premiering at Venice.

Judy

It’s been awhile since Renee Zellweger had a role receiving awards buzz. This biopic of Judy Garland could alter that. Premiering at Toronto.

Just Mercy

This drama about a falsely accused prisoner features Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson. Premiering at Toronto.

Knives Out

Rian Johnson’s murder mystery has a sprawling cast of hopefuls including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, and Michael Shannon. Premiering at Toronto.

Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach is a favorite of the critical community. This drama is headlined by Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver and hits Venice and other fests before its Netflix premiere.

The Goldfinch

Brooklyn director John Crowley adapts this drama based on a well-known 2013 novel. The cast includes Nicole Kidman and Oakes Fegley. Premiering at Toronto.

The Irishman

Rightly kicking off the New York Festival, Martin Scorsese directs this gangster saga starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci.

The Laundromat

Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh directs this dramatic thriller with Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, and Antonio Banderas. Premiering at Venice.

The Personal History of David Copperfield

Lion nominee Dev Patel is the Charles Dickens character with a supporting cast including Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie. Premiering at Toronto.

The Two Popes

Jonathan Pryce is Pope Francis and Anthony Hopkins is Pope Benedict in this Netflix effort from director Fernando Meirelles. Premiering at Toronto.

Followers of this blog know that I’ll do Oscar Watch posts on each of these and many others as they screen in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!